An Aeronav Air Let L-410 carrying medical supplies to help with the COVID-19 coronavirus relief effort was targeted by gunfire as it was on approach to Qansax Dheere, in the southern Bay region of Somalia.
The aircraft, registered 5Y-VVA, performing a cargo flight to deliver medical supplies, was about 7 kilometers away from its destination airfield when it was shot at several times, leaving multiple bullet holes in the fuselage. The aircraft managed to land and no injuries were reported.
BREAKING: Plane carrying humanitarian supplies comes under fire while approaching Qansahdhere airfield, Bay region, Monday, sources. Purported pictures show bullet holes in the plane. There are no injuries. Officials point finger at Al-Shabaab. pic.twitter.com/QMWqWbf1yD
— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) May 25, 2020
While officials pointed at the Islamist militant group al Shabaab, local media said the insurgents do not operate in the region. Another suspect could be the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (EDNF) that are controlling Qansax Dheere airfield.
If the Ethiopian army was to blame, it would be the second misfire incident in less than a month. On May 4, 2020, the EDNF admitted shooting down an Embraer EMB-120RT transporting medical supplies to fight the coronavirus pandemic to Baidoa Airport (BIB), also in the southern Bay region, killing two pilots and four passengers.
Read more: Ethiopia admits shooting down African Express Embraer 120
The Let L-410 5Y-VVA was recently sold to Aeronav-Kenya School of Flying. On May 23, 2004, the aircraft was involved in a deadly collision while it was being operated by Blue Bird Aviation. The aircraft came into contact with another Let L-410 of the airline, 5Y-VVD, which crashed in an open field killing both occupants. 5Y-VVA managed to land safely and has been since repaired.